By Tia Lynn Ivey
After spending years limbo, the controversial Foster Park project is moving forward.
The saga of Foster Park, a proposed 19-house subdivision planned for Madison’s Historic District, dragged on since 2016 as a series heated public proceedings and legal challenges unfolded to halt the project. To accommodate the project, in March of 2018, the Madison Mayor and City Council narrowly voted to rezone the 10.34-acre property located at 622 Foster Street to a Residential 4 zoning designation, which reduced the lot sizes required for each house from half-acre lots to quarter-acre lots. The land is behind the Historic Thomason-Foster-Miller House on Main Street, which recently sold and is expected to be restored to its former glory after being destroyed in a fire almost 20 years ago. Opponents of the Foster Park project worried about a new housing development in the heart of the Historic district would adversely affect surrounding property values. Opponents also complained that the increased density would create more noise, light, and traffic-congestion in their neighborhoods. A group of Historic District residents then launched a lawsuit to challenge the City of Madison’s zoning decision in hopes of derailing the Foster Park project, but ultimately lost their case earlier this year.
With all the legal obstacles out of the way, Developer Brad Good is moving forward with the project. Good appeared before Madison’s Historic Preservation (HPC) last week for a conceptual review of the planned housing development.
The HPC gave Good input outside design of the houses to ensure the look is in keeping with Madison’s traditional style.
“They gave us some really good feedback to help us flesh out the details, the windows, the doors, the facade of the houses—what’s preferable and what’s not,” said Good. “I think it went well.”
Good is slated to return to the HPC at next regular meeting on Tuesday, August 13 at 5:30 p.m. for final approval on the design plans.
According to Good, each house will be about 2,500 square feet with various floor plans.
“Some will be two-story and others will be a story-and-a-half. We want a variety of styles,” said Good.
Each house will be up for sale in the $400,000 range. “The mid-$400,000 area is our target, give or take a little,” said Good.
Once the HPC grants Good’s design plans and a land disturbance permit is approved, the Foster Park project will be free to begin construction.
“We expect to start sometime this Fall,” said Good.
Good hopes that when the project has finally come to fruition, people will see it as a benefit to the community.
“When all is said and done, I hope people realize that we’ve added to this city and haven’t taken anything away,” said Good. “We have kept all our promises and have done everything asked of us. We are looking forward to getting this project finally done.”